Sellers are permitted to return to livestock marts in Northern Ireland from next Monday (May 3rd, 2021).
The Livestock Market Stakeholder group provided confirmation in a statement earlier today (Friday, April 30th).
The statement reads as follows: “With the gradual easing of the COVID-19 restrictions, the Livestock Market Stakeholder group have agreed safety measures that will allow sellers to return to markets from Monday, May 3rd to view their own livestock being sold.”
“The arrangements that livestock markets have already introduced to allow the online viewing and participation in sales by buyers and sellers will remain in place, and farmers are encouraged to continue to make use of this technology.”
The spokesperson confirmed that key safety measures relating to the use of marshalling, face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing that everyone is now well used to adhering to, will remain in place.
“Auctioneers and mart staff will continue to monitor and make regular announcements to provide advice to those in attendance. For everyone’s safety, it is essential that this advice is followed.”
“The Livestock Market Stakeholder group want to re-emphasise that everyone within the farming community must continue to work together to enable the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions but still ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those who attend and work at livestock sales,” the spokesperson concluded.
Buyers to return to mart ringsides next month,
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, has confirmed that buyers will return to mart rings from May 17th, 2021.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Cabinet yesterday (April 29th, 2021).
Online trading will continue to be facilitated, alongside the return of in-ring buying.
How marts will operate
Buyers may attend the sales ring and view stock in pens. However, this must be done by prior appointment with the livestock mart.
Buyers, who wish to be present at ringside, must wear face coverings and adhere to strict 2m social distancing.
Marts must also prevent the congregation of public members in the mart car park or at entryways into mart buildings.